Australia Is Getting Aircraft Carriers, Sort Of
Pretty soon, the Royal Australian Navy will take possession of HMAS Canberra, a 27,000-ton-displacement, flat-deck amphibious assault ship. The RAN plans to use Canberra and her sister HMAS Adelaide to manage crises across the South Pacific. But could the Canberras also give Australia an offensive naval air capability that... Read more
Time for America to Rethink the Way It Nukes People
America’s nuclear weapons are getting old. More to the point, the submarines, rockets and planes that deliver the nukes are rusting away. Designed during the Cold War, all three legs of the sea-, air-, and land-based nuclear “triad” need replacement fairly soon. The means spending potentially hundreds of billions... Read more
The Israeli B-52 Is a Terrible Idea
In April 2014, retired Air Force lieutenant general David Deptula and Michael Makovsky of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal arguing that the United States should turn over a dozen surplus B-52 heavy bombers to Israel. Deptula and Makovsky said... Read more
No, F-22s Can’t Save Ukraine
On March 31, U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Spalding III argued in The National Interest that a “purely defensive deployment” of Air Force F-22 stealth fighters “is just one possible solution” to the Ukraine crisis, which has seen Vladimir Putin’s Russia annex the strategic Crimean peninsula and threaten the... Read more
The Old Russian Battleship That Helps Explain Crimea
Until the invasion of Crimea, Russia expected to take into service in 2016 RFS Sevastopol, a 21,000-ton-displacement, French-built amphibious assault ship. The choice of name was odd, given that—until recently—the city of Sevastopol lay outside the borders of Russia. France may cancel the deal in light of Moscow’s aggression.... Read more
Where Is America’s Battle of Britain?
Where have all the good Air Force movies gone? Air power should, and occasionally does, sell at the box office. But Officer and a Gentleman, Top Gun, Flight of the Intruder and Rescue Dawn all depicted Navy pilots. In Independence Day, Marine aviator Will Smith saves the world, alternating... Read more
Let’s Argue Over the Politics of Independent Air Forces
In 1962, as Pres. John F. Kennedy considered how to respond to the deployment of Soviet missiles to Cuba, the loudest voices for escalation came from the United States Air Force. Famously, Gen. Curtis LeMay—one of the most effective operational commanders in American history and a veteran of World... Read more
Screw Manned Air Power—Drones Could Change Everything
The novelty of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles can obscure how well they fit within traditional air power theory. Drones’ capacity for combining persistent surveillance with precision-guided munitions makes them useful for air campaigns designed to detach the sinews of enemy military and governmental institutions. Indeed, if neoclassical air power theory... Read more
This Is Why People Don’t Trust the Air Force With Air Power
Last week at Foreign Affairs, U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Spalding III offered a response to my earlier article “Ground the Air Force.” I’d like to thank Col. Spalding for his contribution, and to offer the following response to several of his points. Colonel Spalding opens with a revealing... Read more
Let’s Kick the Air Force Out of Space
So if we abolished the U.S. Air Force, as we’ve argued we should, what would that process look like, and what would it leave behind? The Air Force is the lead agency for U.S. military operations in space. So who should talk over in orbit? The Navy should. And... Read more
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